Break the Silence
When was the last time you really wanted (or needed) to say something, but kept quiet? Write a post about what you should’ve said.
This was one of my contributions to the Heckler column in the Sydney Morning Herald, published some time ago with slight amendments to the vernacular. It seems to suit today’s prompt, so here it is.
For as long as I can remember, I have faced dismal and humiliating failure at the most fundamental level of Shrink 101 – Hating your Parents. Try as I might, I’ve never managed to get past the fact that I actually liked them. But now at last there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I’m well on the way to working up a goodly grudge that I think should ensure resilient mental health for the rest of my life. I’ve finally realised that they stifled the development of my creative aggression and denied me the right to rudeness.
Have you any idea how crippling this is? How much emotional trauma it causes? Let alone physical trauma: elevated blood pressure, ground teeth, muscular spasms… And probably endocrine imbalance, digestive disorders and cardiovascular overload, if anyone bothered to ask. And all because I’ve spent my life repressing what is obviously a natural urge to be rude and abusive and to hell with the consequences.
You might well wonder why it’s taken me so long to see the light here. For years I have restrained the urge to punch queue-jumpers, demand action from the dilatory, scream at obstructionists and throw things at people who get in my way. I’ve smiled and nodded while arrogant bastards rolled out acres of hogwash, and bitten my tongue when patronising arseholes smirked from a great height. And for why? Because not only was rudeness taboo, I was also taught to make allowances – to try to see the other person’s point of view: perhaps the arrogant and patronising were insecure; maybe the queue-jumper had a lot on its mind.
Nnnaah! I’m over it. I’ve turned the other cheek so often my head’s coming unscrewed, and now I want my turn at being rude. And greedy and grasping. And inconsiderate, unreasonable, irrational, irresponsible… I want to spit the dummy, do my lolly and otherwise have a tantrum without any sense of remorse or guilt, or any concern that I might be acting unfairly. So no more Mrs Nice-pie. You were here first? Stiff shit! You can’t answer my enquiry? Then where’s your boss, you useless waste of space? And as for you – rack off, wanker, you bore me rigid.
Sadly, though, I still can’t help making allowances for my parents. They meant well. They just didn’t realise that even if the meek do ultimately inherit the earth, it will be whipped from their grasp in a nanosecond by the pushy, the self-absorbed and the downright rude for whom riding roughshod is second nature, while the meek, poor things, will be too battered and demoralised to fight back. Hardly seems fair, does it? Particularly when being rude looks like such fun.